One of the most common types of medical malpractice and hospital negligence cases in California is medication and pharmacy errors. When prescriptions and medications are not dispensed with care, serious harm can come to the patient. Even the most well-intentioned and careful pharmacists can make grave mistakes. If you’ve been injured due to a medication mistake, you have the right to seek compensation for your illness or injuries.
The Most Common Prescription Errors
Common medication errors may include:
- Failure to provide standard prophylactic medications
- Failure to take an accurate medical history
- Pharmacist negligence in filling a prescription
- Nursing error – like misreading a chart – leading to a medication overdose
There are many types of prescription errors, but it’s crucial to acknowledge that some errors are not the fault of the pharmacy, but the fault of the person who administers your dose. For example, if a nurse wrongly administers your prescription despite the pharmacy filling it correctly, then the possible negligence and error are the fault of the nurse, not the pharmacist. Alternatively, if a pharmacist cannot read a doctor’s handwriting on a prescription, the error may be attributed to both parties.
Other times, medication error liability can fall on the maker of medical equipment or the pharmaceutical manufacturer. For instance, a California hospital patient died in 2015 due to a malfunctioning medication drip device. The patient received three times the recommended dose of medication. This is still classified as medical malpractice because the harm resulted from improperly administering medication instead of a direct design defect in the product.
Filing a Lawsuit
According to the Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety, the most common types of reported medication errors include incorrect forms of dosage (such as a pill instead of a liquid or suppository), incorrect strength for the correct prescription, or incorrect medications. These three common medical mistakes can all be attributed to a physician, medical support staff, or a pharmacy worker. Before starting a medical malpractice lawsuit, it’s important to understand who has breached your standard of care, as you’ll be required to prove it during your case.
To bring a California medical malpractice suit, you must show that a medical professional’s misconduct caused you harm and breached the existing standard of care. Filing a claim against a pharmacist is more difficult than filing against a doctor because the duty of care between a physician and his or her patient is established by law, while no such law governs a pharmacist. However, it’s not impossible, especially if it’s a hospital pharmacy which may hold stricter standards for its workers.
How a Medical Malpractice Lawyer Can Assist You
Prescription errors can lead to death, but you may be eligible for compensation even if you merely have a painful reaction, as long as you can prove that a medical professional breached the standard of care. The accomplished attorneys at Jorgensen Law in San Diego will fight aggressively to resolve the problem for you and your loved ones in a way that will put you back on stronger footing. Talk to a medical malpractice lawyer today by calling 1-888-855-2948 or filling out our online form to set up a consultation.